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How has COVID-19 Impacted Medication Management? 10 Must-Read Articles and Reports from April 2020

ways to increase medication compliance

To help keep you informed about the biggest trends, developments, and announcements concerning medication management, here are 10 of the most significant news reports published in April 2020. Highlights include stories on the role of pharmacists and pharmacies during the pandemic, telepharmacy, drug shortages, and pharmacist-driven comprehensive medication management.

1. Concerns About Medication Adherence Grow Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Pharmacy Times explores why some pharmacists and other healthcare experts are concerned that patients may stop adhering to their medication regimens during the pandemic.

2. US Pharmacists Can Now Test for Coronavirus – They Could Do More If Government Allowed It

In this op-ed, Steven Chen, associate dean for clinical affairs at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, explains why pharmacists are in a great position to help even more with the fight against the coronavirus.

3. Older Americans are Risking Coronavirus Exposure to Get Their Medications

A national survey of Americans over age 65 by health services researchers at the University of Michigan finds that, when it comes to medication, many older adults plan to keep going to the pharmacy as they always have. The researchers state, "The results should be a call to action, both for older adults and for those who care about them."

4. Considerations for Pharmacies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this guidance for pharmacists and pharmacy staff as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Trying Telepharmacy? Here's What You Need to Know

Pharmacy Technology Report discusses how pharmacists can begin leveraging telepharmacy but notes that rapid adoption and utilization will likely prove difficult.

6. FDA Takes Another Step to Ease Shortages of Drugs for Covid-19 Patients on Ventilators

STAT explains the recent temporary policy issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to try to reduce a shortage of medicines needed for Covid-19 patients on ventilators. The policy permits small compound pharmacies to supply hospitals unable to purchase medicines from the usual manufacturers or larger compound pharmacies.

7. America's State of Mind Report

This research report from Express Scripts included noteworthy findings concerning use of medications to treat common mental health conditions. Among the key takeaways: "The number of prescriptions filled per week for antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-insomnia medications increased 21% between February 16 and March 15, peaking the week ending March 15, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic."

8. Medication Adherence Programs: Strategies for Creating More Loyal Patients

Learn how the implementation of medication adherence programs can be effective in improving outcomes for patients and reducing costs in this Pharmacy Times article.

9. Community Support, Education Help Patients 'Stay the Course' During COVID-19

This article from Healio Rheumatology explains how offering additional education resources to rheumatic disease patients and connecting them online to other patients with chronic conditions can help with medication adherence and anxiety during the pandemic.

10. Implementation of Pharmacist-Driven Comprehensive Medication Management as Part of an Interdisciplinary Team in Primary Care Physicians' Offices

A highlight from the March issue of The American Journal of Accountable Care, this report notes that, "Overall, pharmacist-performed comprehensive medication management (CMM) as part of an interdisciplinary care team resulted in positive patient and provider satisfaction. With the large focus on value-based performance outcomes, implementation of pharmacist CMM services may be of interest to organizations looking to improve such outcomes."

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